tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN March 10, 2011 8:00pm-11:00pm EST
the country entrust theirpublic children to public schools soscl the understand these schools power. the bullied at school, when they are three times more likely than straight kids to feel unsafe at school, when one-third of lgbt kids say they have skipped a day of school in the last month because they are feeling unsafe, then we know that our public education system is not fulfilling its most basic obligations to parents to keep
children safe. and we have an obligation to do and we have an obligation to do >> we have an obligation to do something about it. yesterday, justin ao beg from our state of minnesota should have celebrated his 16th birthday, celebrated with his family and his friends, but instead, i know his family and friends. will be mussing him terribly. i knew they were yesterday, and i know they still are today. no child should have to go through the pain that justin went through at school. no mom or dad should have to go through the heart breaking pain that justin family has gone
through. it's time. it's time that we extend equal rights to lgtb kids, to help gtb students. we have the opportunity now as we reform no child left behind, esea, the i elementary and secretary education act to include this legislation. our children cannot afford for us to squander this opportunity. i encourage all of my colleagues to join me today in supporting the student nondiscrimination act and the demanding protection for all, all of our children under the law. madam president, i ask unanimous concept that the bill's text be included in the record. >> without objection.
so ordered. >> thank you mad, madam pat, and i yield the floor and ask the suggestion of a quorum. >> hillary clinton testifies on the hill about the state department's budget request. senate floor discussion on contrasting plans to cut federal spending and fund the government for the rest of this year. after that, the social security administration's chief actuary says the system has to include increased revenues or decreased benefits.
>> secretary of state hillary clinton said today when she visits egypt and tiew knee sha next week, she'll meet with governments opposed to gadafi. this is little more than two hours. >>ed -- >> the subcommittee will come to order. i want to welcome everybody to today's subcommittee hearing. madam secretary, thank you for
appearing today to testify on the administration's fiscal year 2012 budget request and foreign assistance programs. i know last week was very busy for you as are all the weeks and for your committee, and i'm gland that we were able to get this hearing back on schedule today, and i appreciate very much. the issues are critically important for u.s. national security. our efforts in afghanistan and pakistan, iraq must achieve clear objectives and demonstrate results. at the same time, we are all watching the rapidly unfolding events in the middle east and north africa. we must support efforts for reform in this region, continued investments in democracy promotion and military assistance will be critical to maintaining peace in a very difficult environment. in our own hemisphere, drugs and human drasking are -- trafficking are grave concerns starting through south and central mexico bringing violence
to ore backyard. in texas, the violence is spilling across the border. we must take action now. with the issues we're facing around the world, our debt is the greatest threat to our national security. we have to make difficult choices today to protect the most critical funding for the future. while it's not easy, the administration, the congress must work together to make wise decisions to lead this country forward and away from future threats. the state foreign operations bill supports critical national security interests, but we can't continue to spend like we have in the past. i want to be clear that i remain committed to protecting our national security with investments abroad while giving appropriate attention to our economic recovery here at home. while this congress and the administration still have a great deal of work to do, the state foreign operations portion
of hr1, the continuing resolution passed by the house a few weeks ago was a first attempt to achief the right balance. this prioritizes the front line states of afghanistan, pakistan, and iraq and key allies like israel and jordan. at the same time, they made cuts this programs we simply can't affordment plans to increase state and us aid staff support large multiyier commitments and boost lending by international banks must be reconsidered. the hearing today is a subcommittee's first chance to hear how the administration prioritized its needs for fiscal year 2012, the biggest budget request totaled $59 billion for the security which is almost $11 billion above the 2010 enacted level. this funding level includes for the first time a separate account for the extraordinary cost of operating in the front line states. i'd like to highlight several
areas of the budget request that deserves the subcommittee's attention. the request for iraq is billions more than spent in fiscal year 2010, but this is significantly less than the cost of keeping troops on the ground, and we recognize that. as the state department prepares to become the lead agency in iraq on october 1, serious questions remain about state's capability to manage a program of this size and ensure the security of diplomatic and development staff. in afghanistan, the administration continues to focus on providing direct assistance to the government. the subcommittee will continue to watch this closely. we'll be following how the administration monitors an evaluates projects because clear goals must be achieved so that the civilian effort complements the military activity. it's only through an integrated strategy we ensure terrorists do not have safe havens to plan
attacks on the united states. i've been drawn to security changes by the government of afghanistan that can make the operating environment even more difficult for u.s. government employees and contractors. a reasonable agreement must be reached so there's a successful transition to afghan security forces, but counterinsurgency and development goals can't be put in jeopardy. in pakistan, united states continues to demonstrate commitment to an enduring strategic partnership focused on economic, military, and police assistance to help root out extremists and support other rite call investments. for israel, this budget includes more than $3 billion to have a strong military presence in a volatile region. while it doesn't have planned reductions for columbia and moment koa, there's a focus on these countries and the neighbors in the region. the subcommittee needs to hear more about how the funding asked
will sustain gains over the last decade and help mexico build the constitutions it needs to forge a lasting front against the cartels. in closing, i want to thank the men and women of this country serving overseas, especially those placed in the most difficult circumstances. i also want to thank secretary clinton for her dedicated service to this nation. i believe working together we can maintain an effective and ficialt diplomatic development capacity in key areas around the world. by justifying the total funding levels proposed in this budget simply will not be possible. i hope today will be the first of many conversations to determine how the united states can remain a leader in the world through a period of extraordinary political crisis and at the same time emerge quickly from our economic turmoil. i want to turn to my ease temperatured ranking member and
then i'll turn to ranking member rogers and then who is here in seniority. i'll alternate between seniority and minority and keep your questions within 5 minutes. if there's time, there's a second round of question. there's a light in front of the secretary. i'll turn to mrs. lloyd for her opening remarks. >> thank you, and i join chairman granger in welcoming you back to the subcommittee, ms. clinton. it's an honor and privilege. we thank you for your extraordinarily strong leadership. your steady hand and effective representation of the united states of america never cease to impress and amaze me especially during crisis like those we face throughout northern africa and the middle east, and we thank you. in this time of fiscal belt
tightening, it's important that we not lose site that diplomacy and development are crucial to promoting stability, improving economies, sustaining peace. these investments help prevent threats to our national security and cost far less in lives and treasure than deployment of troops. we cannot let our current fiscal crisis create a future security crisis by cutting these invaluable programs. that is why i'm particularly pleased, the president requested $27 billion to support global development in fiscal year 2012. assistance for addressing global climate change, food security, and health challenges help create the conditions in developing countries for the growth of democracy, economic expansion, and ultimately increase stability.
in addition, this budget requests would advance our security imperatives to both encounter drugs and anticrime programs, combating transnational crime, strengthening our allies including israel, jordan, and egypt, and provide assistance in cop flick to -- con conflict to volatile areas. they will edge courage stability in vulnerable regions while meeting our moral obligations to help those most in need. however, i am troubled that this request is not prioritized with basic education, an issue i believe is crucial to the success of our efforts to promote health, economic development, gender equality,
and long term security. over the last 10 years, i worked to increase funding for basic education programs, and over that time, we've made significant progress. for example, in sub sai is a hair ya africa, it increased 70%, but children still remap out of schools, and i hope you will commit to me prioritizing efforts in support of universal primary education for all chirp by 2015. by the way, the amazing event you hosted at the state department in honor of international women's day. i was particularly pleased that prime minister of australia emphasized the importance of education, and i do hope we can continue to work together particularly focusing on girl's
education which is a major obstacle in so many parts of the world. now, we know that the current fiscal situation demands tough decisions, and this request reflects a thoughtful analysis where cuts can be absorbed. it appreciate the care the administers took to provide congress with a realistic request, however, we know from last week's debate on the continuing resolution, several programs included in your request are going to be subject to reductions in the house. one area of particular concern to me is the drastic cut to international family planning that was accompanied by divisive policy changes such as reinstatement of the local rule. i hope you can address what these cuts and policy changes mean to the millions of women
and children and families who depend on these programs, many for their basic health. finally, we welcome your thoughts on the effects of the revolutions in tunisia, egypt, unrest in yemen, nigeria, bahrain, jordan, and the new government in lebanon will have on both our foreign policy and our aid to the region. i smile not because of the seriousness of the situation, but the enormous challenges that you are dealing with so effectively and for that, we are so grateful and so very appreciative, madam secretary. thank you. >> thank you. . mr. rogers, do you have brief opening remarks to make? >> yes, thank you, madam chairman for the time. madam secretary, welcome to the
old haunt here at the hill. we appreciate you being back here. we appreciate your service. i apologize about playing phone tag about the breakfast meeting, and i assure you that's on my list, hopefully. i appreciate you being here today. truly a historic time for the congress, the nation, and indeed the world. i don't have to tell you i think we are at the cross roads here at home. over the last two years, we've increased discretionary spending by 24% including the stimulus funding that's increased by 84%, clearly unsustainable. since 2008, base appropriations for state foreign operations subcommittee has grown by more than 33%. we are borrowing 42 cents on the dollar that we spend, and it's time that we get serious about reducing spending, putting it
dent in our record-setting deficit. it's difficult to believe that the administration shares my goal to cut spending when the 2010 state foreign operations request of $59.5 billion is an increase of more than 22% above the 2010 bill. even if 2010 supplementals are included, budget still represents an 8% increase. when i share the chairwoman's interest in national security as o priority. we can't sustain the level of spending in this bill. we have some tough choices ahead for us and for you, and i look forward to hearing from you today about the administration's priorities, especially where we might be able to squeeze some spending out of the request, and i appreciate your thoughts. >> thank you.
mr. dicks, do you have any remarks? >> i welcome you today. along with defense, the state department and u.s.-aid are critical companies of the national security strategy and essential to making americans safe at home and abroad. i appreciate the work you have demonstrated with secretary gates to the country and to the world, and that's quite important, and it's somewhat unusual. with this budget request, the administration seeks diplomacy and funding levels to result in longer term savings as we continue transition from the military to civilians in iraq and support counter inser jen sigh and stabilize programs in pakistan, yemen, and sudan. we strive to use smart power and face increasing domestic needs.
while there's signs of recovery in the economy with unemployment dropping to 8.9%, the growing budget deficit, the creation of jobs, and provision of economic security for american families must be the primary focus of this congress. there's no doubt this bb difficult to sustain all the priorities laid out in the president's budget request, but i'm still optimistic we can balance our national and international priorities, but if we are, we must ensure every dollar is well spent. our investments in diplomacy and development continue to yield great dividends over time because as we all know, development costs far less than life and treasure than deploying ore troops and more effective methods of peace and stainability. they are less likely to pose a threat to their neighbors or to us. with this in mind, madam
secretary, and i'm pleased the administration seeks to invest in the future by funding activities like food security and global health which are clearly aimed at creating the necessary conditions in developing countries for the growth of democracy, economic expansion, and ultimately increase stability and the priorities we all share, so i look forward to your statement. i look forward to hearing a little bit about how things are going in this transition in iraq where the state department is expanding operations and the defense department is bringing down operations. i think this is a very critical moment. thank you. madam chair. >> madam secretary, feel free to summarize your remarks, and without objection, your full statement will be submitted into the record. >> thank you very much. i want to congratulate the chairman assuming this important postat such a critical moment in
world history, not just american history, and i want to recognize and thank not only the ranking member, congresswoman lowey, but also the members of the ranking members of the subcommittee. i want to say a few words about remarkable changing occurs across the middle east. yes, it's exciting, but it also pose z significant challenges to america's position, our security, and to our long term interests. next week, i will travel to cairo and tunis to speak directory with the people. i will be meeting with their transitional leaders, and i intend to convey strong support of the obama administration and the american people that we wish to be a partner in the important work that lies ahead as they embark on a transition to a jen
new win -- genuine democracy. some countries as of most of those in eastern and central europe navigated those challenges successfully, others have not. we have an enormous stake in assuring that egypt and tiew knee sha -- tunisia provide models for the democracy that we want to see. now, in libya, at the same time, a dictator is denying his people that same path forward, and we are standing with the libyan people as they brave bombs and bullets to demand that gadafi must go now without delay. we are hard at work with our partners and allies including nato, the arab league, gulf cooperation counsel to isolate sanctions to stop the violence against his own people and to send a clear message to those
around gadafi who continue to enable this attack on his own people that they too will be held accountable if they commit crimes against the libyan people. we remain engaged with the sanctions committee at the united nations to consider tougher measures as the situation develops, and we are reaching out to the opposition inside and outside of libya. i will be meeting with some of those figures, both here in the united states and when i travel next week to discuss what more the united states and others can do. now, the united states through the state department and u.s.-aid are already providing food, shelter, water, medical supplies, and evacuation assistance to those who are fleeing the violence of the we have dispatched expert humanitarian teams to assess the needs on the borders, and we
stand ready to expand those efforts. the military has positioned assets to support these critical humanitarian missions, and the united states military, i'm very proud to say, has air lifted home hundreds of egyptian my -- migrants, may be in the thousands by now who fled libya to tunisia. this was a direct request for the egyptian government through the supreme counsel of the armed forces. we are considering all of our options. in the years ahead, we know that libya could become a stable peaceable society on the way to a democracy, or it could fall into chaos and violence. the stakes are so high, not only, although primarily the libyan people, but also the rest of the people in the world. this is an example of how we're using combined assets of diplomacy, development, and defense to protect our interests and advance our values.
this integrated approach is not just how we respond to crisis, it is the most effective and cost effective way to sustain and advance our security, and it is only possible with a budget that supports all the tools in our national security arsenal. now, i want to join my voice to those of the chairwoman who made is very clear that the american people have a right to be justifiably concerned about our national debt. i am too. i know that we have so many tough decisions that we're facing right now that the american people also want us to be senator about the decisions we make and the investments that we are making in the future. just two years ago, i asked that we were new, our investment and development and diplomacy, and we are seeing tangible results. in iraq, almost 100,000 of our troops have come home, and
civilians are poised to keep the peace. in afghanistan, integrated military and civilian surges helped set the stage for our diplomatic stage to support afghan led reconciliation to end the conflict and put al-qaeda on the run. we have imposed with your very strong support the strongest sanctions yet to reign in iran's nuclear ambitions, reengaged as a leader in the pacific and our hemisphere, signed trade deals to promote american deals and weapon treaties to protect our people. we worked with northern and southern sudan to have a referendum, and we're working to open societies and to create economies that will have political support, to have irreversible democratic transitions. now, the progress is significant, but the work is formidable that lies ahead.
the fy2012 budget is a budget that will allow us to continue pressing forward. we think it is a lean budget for lean times. i launched the first ever diplomacy develop review to help us maximize the impact of every dollar. we scrubbed this budget, made painful but responsible cuts. we cut economic assistance to central and eastern europe, tat caucuses in central asia, cut development assistance to over 20 countries by more than half. this year for the first time our ask is divided into two parts. our core budget request is $47 billion for the state department and u.s.-aid. that supports programs and partnerships in every country but north korea, and it is essentially flat from 2010 levels. the second part of our request fundses the extraordinary temporary portion of our war effort the same way the
pentagon's request is funded in a separate overseas contingency operation. instead of covering war expenses through appropriations, we are now taking a more transparent approach that fully reflects the integrated civilian fill mare efforts. our -- military efforts. our share of the president's $126 billion request for exceptional wartime costs is $8.7 billion, so all told, we have a $47 billion operational account and an $8.7 billion overseas contingency operations account. now, the 150 account as a whole that was referred to by mr. mr. lewis is $59.9 billion. that is the treasury and all other foreign aid accounts that i know you're also paying attention too, but let me
quickly walk you through this because on this issue of our $8.7 overseas contingency operations, we have the strongest support from secretary gates from admiral mullen, and i was speaking with general petraeus last night, he will be here on the hill strongly supporting the civilian effort that goes hand in hand with what he is doing so heroically in afghanistan, so we are funding vital civilian missions in afghanistan, pakistan, and iraq with this $8.7 billion. we do have al-qaeda under pressure as never before. the military surge and our civilian surge because when i became secretary of state, we had 300 civilians in afghanistan, and most of them were on six month rotations. we were not doing our part to be a good partner to our military colleagues. we now have nearly 1200 civilians, and they are there day in and day out in some of
the roughest tour rain you can find anywhere. our military commanders tell us every week that we cannot succeed without a strong civilian partner for our military efforts. equally important is our assistance to pakistan. as the chairwoman said, we are trying to deepen our relationship. there are many challenges confronting us, but we know what happens when we walk away from pakistan. we did it before, and the results, unfortunately, were fite dire for us. after so much sacrifice in iraq, we have a chance now to help the iraqi people build a stable democratic country in the heart of the middle east. now, while we are hoping what happens in egypt, tunisia will be positive, we already have elections twice held in iraq. we have a government, took awhile to get set up, not as long as we would add it's taken the belgiums to get a government, but it's finally set up, and now we have to be there with support.
this budget also saves us money if you look at it because the military's total oco request, and i know that congressman dicks is well acquainted with this worldwide will drop $45 billion from 2010. our cost on the civilian side included by less than $4 billion. now, we think that's a good return on the investment of blood and treasure that this country has already made. secondly, even as they bring the war to a close, we are working as hard as we can to prevent tomorrows. we prevent $4 billion from volatile places. in yemen, the head quarters of al-qaeda and working to viet humanitarian assistance. we are working in somalia, helping the northern and
southern sudan chart a peaceful future, helping haiti rebuild, and we propose a global contingency fund to pull resources for the first time with the defense department to have that expertise and cooperation to respond quickly to challenges. we also strengthen our allies and partners. we're training mexican police to take on the violent cartels and secure our southern border. we provide nearly $3.1 for israel. we support jordan, support the palestinians, help egypt and tunisia, support 130 nations, and i would just say we have gotten our moneys mort. the support we've given to the egyptian military over 30 years made it possible for us to have an open line of communication between our military leadership and the egyptian military leadership, and having trained a generation of egyptian military,
they refused to fire on their own people under tremendous people. we are making investments on human security focuses on hunger, disease, climate changes, economic securities, and the largest investment is in global health securities including those launched by president bush. these not only stable societies devastated by diseases and other illness, they save the lives of mother and children and halt the spread of deadly disease to our own country. global food prices are approaching an all-time high. we worked closely with our agriculture experts to come up with proposals that will actually over time move people from being food recipients to food producers, and we do believe that strengthening countries against drought, floods, and other weather
disasters, promoting clean energy, and saving tropical forests helps us with our security and challenges here at home. fourth, we're committing to making our force an economic renewal. we are bringing back jobs to the united states to create more economic growth here at home. to give you one example, the eight open skies agreements we have signed over the last two years is opening dozens of new markets of carriers overseas. the dallas-fort worth airport which already supports 300,000 jobs will see billions of dollars in new business, and i know that chairman woman granger calls that the economic engine of north texas. fifth and timely, this budget funds the people and platforms that make possible everything i've described. we have diplomatic relations with 190 countries. having served in the senate for eight years, i know what it's
like to get a phone call when an american citizen somewhere is in trouble, and one of those 190 countries, and i know what it's like to be told somebody's in trouble in a country where there's not adequate diplomatic relations. we have political officers diffusing crisis, development officers, and economic officers working to make deals for american business. several of you asked about the safety of your constituents in the middle east. well, this budget funds the officers who evacuated over 126 americans from egypt and libya, nearly 17,000 from haiti after the earthquake. they issued 14 million passports. they are the first line of defense against would-be terrorists seeking visas to enter our country. now, i know that 2011 is a tough time, and i sent chairman rogers a letter, spoken to speaker boehner. it will be very difficult for us as we are now planning our
civilian efforts in an ongoing way in iraq, afghanistan, and pakistan to absorb a 16% cut that passed the house last month. we've got to do our part with the military, and i know that what is often the case is we talk about nondefense discretionary, and, of course, that leaves out state and u.s.-aid. it includes the department of homeland security, it includes veteran, and it includes defense, but here we are. i have diplomats and development experts in helmand province going in with the marines in kandahar. they are figuring out how to have a strong robust presence in iraq and stand against iran and for the strong iraqi government. finally, i know how tough these
decisions are. i was leer in the 90s, not in this capacity, and i saw the difficult decisions we made then which put us on a path to having balanced budgets, surpluses, and frankly, being on the road to actually balancing our budget. 9/11 happened, a lot of other things happened in the following years. we are trying to get ourself back on a strong fiscal footing. unfortunately, the world hasn't stopped while we do that 6789 as i look at the challenges for global leadership for the united states, i know we are tempted to try to step back from these obligations, but every time we've done that, it's come back and hit us right squire between the eyes. we left afghanistan after we put the soviet union out, and now we're paying a terrible price for that. generations of americans have grown up successful and safe because we've stepped up. we think that in the world today we have more than we can say
grace over, but we are positioned to try to deal with it, and we cannot do it unless we remember our national security depends not just on defense, but on diplomacy and development working together unlike anything we've ever done historically today to really dplifer on america's security, our interests, and our values. thank you. >> thank you, madam secretary. we'll begin the questions now. i will start. we'll have five minutes. there's a light in front, and when it turns yellow, that moans you have one minute. fiscal year 2012 budget request includes funding for a number of global commitments the administration has made over just the past two years, a pledge for $3.5 for agriculture, a multibillion commitments for climate change programs at the copenhagen submit, $2 million to
increase funding at development banks, and most recently, a $4 billion pledge over three years to fight aids, tb, and malaria. that's over $10 billion in two years only. in the times we've talked, you and i both and members of the subcommittee, talked about the high budgets, my hope is the administration will stop making these large new multiyear commitments, but the commitments i just named have already been made. i would ask you in your judgment, how would you suggest that the subcommittee go about prioritizing those commitments? >> that's a very fair question, and i would answer it in the following ways. first, if you take our health initiative which is building on what i saw as very good work that i supported as a senator in the initiative from president bush, that initiative has given us credibility and a very
positive image in many parts of the world, particularly in subis a a which is down the line from what we need to be doing. on the health initiative, i hope we continue to support it strongly. we have the infrastructure in place, and we are really viewed very favorably there. on the agriculture initiative, what we did was to look at all the money we were paying in emergency foods. most of it on the supplemental. it was constantly tacked on because people were starving, and the american people are generous, and the congress was responsive. if we got smarter on teaching people how to farm, because we used to do that. in the 60s, 70s, and 80s, our aid went to helping people produce their own food better, and then we shifted to emergency. this is a good investment to lower the cost going guard.
on climate change, one quick example. we have very strong allies in the pacific island nations. they vote with us in the united nations. they are some of our strongest supporters. china is making a big pitch towards them. what we hear constantly is they need help with climate change because they are seeing results. they are evacuating their islands. we have a lot of good that we can get in our relations with a lot of these small nations around the world by investing as we have in this budget in trying to help them mitigate the climate change issues. we have not just coming to say these are nice things to do, but we think they fit into our overall strategy of keeping our friends, building for friends and stronger relationships to benefit us in the future. >> thank you. you did not prior advertise, but you gave very good lobbying effort for those programs, so i'll ask you again if you can reply in writing. i have time left. the committee, you know, of
course; supported mexico in the fight against drug violence. the appropriations exceeded $1.4 billion pledged. i was encouraged last week, i'm sure we were with president of mexico and president obama in that, but the violence continues. last year the gao found that performance measures for the mera initiative were lacking and difficult to determine the efforts to stem drug violence being successful. i wrote to you in july asking you to devote your attention to this issue. the response on the department say the government of mexico would be a close partner in the process, but, madam secretary, five months passed since that response, and the gao testified before this subcommittee last week that it will be at least at four months before we have better information on performance measures. as we put our funding together,
we will say what works and how can we prove that it work, and these programs are far too important to fund blindly. how can and what can you tell us about the progress that's being made, what new goals will be said to expand in mexico, and how long will it take to develop these performance measures? >> well, we're in in the midst of that. we learned a lot from plan columbia, applying those lessons, and we've tried to be careful about putting money out until we can hold government agencies accountable, and i will provide you with a complete report about that, and i so appreciate your support about it because it's our most national security challenges. thank you. mrs. lowey. >> thank you. earlier this week. the "washington post" reported a shift in strategy?
afghanistan and u.s. aid is no longer focusing on gender issues. they removed goals for promotions of women's rights for the requirements of $140 million land reform project from a $600 billion municipal project. "gender issues are going to have to take a back seattle to other priorities. there's no way to be successful if we maintain every special interest and pet project." now, i know you pretty well. this is quite frankly unacceptable. any progress we've made in afghanistan with regard to women's rights will be quickly rolled back by the karzai government and others if we do not continue to emphasize the importance of gender equality. during my career, i've been a strong advocate for women rights. i know you have, so i don't think we can stand by and let
the administration roll back the critical work we've done in afghanistan. is the post report accurate? if so, what is the justification? >> it is not accurate, congresswoman, and i'm trying to find out who that unidentified administration official is because that's not administration policy. like you, we believe strongly that supporting women and girls is essential to building democracy and security, and so what we have done as part of a government-wide effort is to develop these civilian stan strategies for afghan women, and we are currently providing more support than any other time in our government's history to address literacy, poor health, poverty, political exclusion, partnering with a lot of courageous afghan women an men. you met one of them at the women of courage event. we addressed gender discrimination and inequality.
now, we have a lot of challenges. i don't want to sugar coat this. this is really hard, and there are deep cultural challenges to doing this work long excluded from education, health care, everything you can imagine. women are still not in any way given their rights or the opportunity to participate, but we have seen real progress, and i think that first the bush administration and now the obama administration, i want to publicly thank mrs. bush for her leadership this this area when she was first lady. since the fall of the taliban, we have seen the return of 2.5 million girls to school. we have seen women in the parliament, women in the lawyers, the high peace counsel that's set up, and we have more than doubled our spending on women and girls since 2008. we've tripled our staff on the ground starting in 2009 when i
got there, and we have staffed a new four-person gender unit in kabul to keep a close eye on where the money's going, to work with the afghan ministry of women's affairs, and the final thing i'll say in the work we're doing because there's military, civilian, and diplomatic surges. the diplomatic surge we are absolutely clear that women cannot be used as pawns by the taliban or by the afghan government, that if the taliban wants to reconcile, they have to renounce al-qaeda, renounce violence, and agree to abide by the afghan constitution, which in the constitution protects the rights of women. >> thank youment i'm going to get in another quick question. as you know, our policy in haiti and someone you know well has been very involved there has been to move people out of port awe prings, and i have been --
port-au-prince, and i've been a strong advocate for centers of learning to help. if they don't have the jobs or services, they will go back to port-au-prince. there's recent reports about a textile manufacture who will be a tenant outside of port-au-prince, provide 20,000 jobs. if we don't have enough time for you to respond, i'd like to know what we are doing to really provide incentives for people to stay out of port-au-prince, provide all the necessities of life so that they can have a decent life there. thank you. >> well, very quickly with the time i have left, we've helped reopen 80% of schools until now. we assessed damage on 400 buildings and allowed people to go back, but you're right. moving methamphetamine out of port-au-prince will be good for the haitian economy. the very large text tile plant
you referred to going in the north will have a whole community built to include schools as well as other facilities. >> i just want to say, madam chair, this would really be an amazing opportunity because we don't have al-qaeda, you don't have the terrorists, and if we can do this as a model, it can be replicated elsewhere. >> well, i'll add that chairwoman went down for the announcement of that textile factory and was positive about what she saw there. >> i hope we're going down there soon. >> good. >> the community is growing and being strengthened outside port-au-prince. thank you. >> thank you. chairman roger, and congratulations to your position. >> thank you. >> madam secretary, truly the events of recent months in north
africa and the middle east have been remarkable. all of these events seems to have one common theme. >> is it something that caused these revolutions to take place. >> mr. chairman, that's a great question. i'll offer you my opinion, and i'm sure the historians will come up with more significant interpretations in the future, but i think that there are a number of forces that are converging all at one time. the united states as you know so well as always advocated democracy, freedom, giving people the chance to have their own lives without control from
the state and everything that we have seen in impressive regimes, but until the technology revolution, that information was very hard to have widely spread as a way to help people organize so that they could speak up for themselves. i really give tremendous credit to these social networks that young people use which is why when i first became secretary of state, i said we're going to have new outreach through, you know, facebook and twitter and everything that's going on, and we now see the results of people themselves saying what happened to that blogger in alexandria who was beaten to death by the egyptian security forces or that university graduate who was selling vegetables in tunisia who was set on fire because he had no opportunity? people now know about that. they can communicate about it
and organize over it. i think what we've seen is really as you say populist coming from the bottom up. that's the good news. the uncertain news is what happens next. >> yeah. >> we've seen governments peacefully toppled in tunisia and egypt. we see a very serious conflict going on in libya, and we see governments from yemen, bahrain, oman, everywhere else looking at how they're going to deal with these challenges, and we watch as china does everything it can to cut off the internet because they've reached the same conclusion that this is a tool that never existed in human history before, so part of our internet freedom agenda is to do everything we can to keep those lines of communication open so that people, themselves, can stand up and speak out for their own rights. >> well, it seems from afar that
these revolutionaries are really leaderless now. >> that's right, right. >> that's a good thing at the outset, but what do you do now that you toppled the government? >> right. >> how do you place a democratic ra sort of government that has fairness involved? >> mr. chairman, you know, i think this is a subject that we're going to have a lot of conversation about, and i hope maybe we can do it sometime outside the formality of a hearing room and just exchange ideas and bring in some experts and others who have experience. >> but we don't have a leisurely amount of time. >> we don't. and we are reaching out to everybody we possibly can. we did evacuate nonessential personnel and families from cairo, but we left a solid team with a very experienced ambassador. we're bringing people back in. we are talking to everybody whose ever been identified as a potential leader. we are talking on a regular basis both i am reaching out to
the new prim minister, foreign minister in egypt, bob gates and mike mullen reach out to field marshall, and we are constantly communicating. it's been challenging for everyone starting with them because who do you negotiate with? who do you bring in to sit down across the table? because by the nature of a lot of these social networks, they are leaderless. they are, you know, people coming together through technology and through the streets, but not designating anybody to be their leaders, so the elections are going to be very important there. >> quick question. aid to egypt, military and otherwise, what can you say about that now? >> well, i think we have to continue and look for new ways to assist egypt. they had a serious drop in their growth domestic product. their tourism industry was very badly hit. in fact, it stopped.
their economic condition is quite challenging. they have not yet opened up their stock market because they are worried that waited egyptians will take money out of the country. they have a lot of big problems, and so what we're doing and what i hope to be able to tell them when i get there next week is that we reprogram with your approval $150 million, $90 million of which goes into economic assistance, $60 million put into helping them prepare for elections, set up political parties, help train people to do their part, but we're going to have to look at bigger things than that because i know from my conversations with egyptians both inside the government and outside the government that they are not looking to europe, the gulf, although they are happy to have their help, they will looking to us, and that is a good thing, and we need to be there to help them. >> thank you, madam secretary.
>> thank you. mr. dicks? >> thank you for your outstanding testimony and one thing i'm concerned about is a situation in iraq as we build down our military forces. can you give us kind of a picture of what the state department is doing? yng there's a may -- i know there's a major increase in employment with people there and contractors. can you give us kind of an overview on this and tell us your concerns. >> i have a lot of concerns, congressman, and i want to go back to also the chairwoman's comments in her opening remarks. now, we are aiming to be able to take over from our military as they leave. as you know very well, under the agreement signed in the bush administration, the status of forces agreement, all of our troops will be out by the end of this year. in fact, most will be out by october, and there's been no
decision made by the current iraqi government for any kind of requests for any of our troops to stay. under the strategic framework agreement also signed into the bush administration, the state department and u.s.-aid are now expected to. here's what we're trying to do. we are trying to have a consulate in bosra which is important in the south where most of our oil companies are going to be doing business across from iran. we want to obviously keep our embassy in baghdad safe and those of you who traveled there know that we have a lot of alerts and we have a lot of missiles that come in and we don't know what the situation will be once our troops leave and take their surveillance and intelligence capabilities with them. we want to have a consulate in
kurcook and another one in the curdish part of iraq and in mozul so we're able to stay on top of what is the continuing center of al-qaeda in iraq. now, all of that costs money, and we are going to have to put in a very significant number of contract security forces in order to keep our dip mats safe -- diplomats safe wurches -- once our military forces leave. the total military government population in iraq following the 2011 transition will be approximately 17,000 personnel including personnel from state, dod, dhs, you name it place security contractors, and it's 50% security. then we have what are called life support contractors. >> is there a number going with
that? >> 50% of the 17,000. >> 17,000, okay, i got you. >> yep. 17,000 all together, 50% security. 30% life support contractors which are, you know, the people who prepare the food and do all of that support work, 10% management and aviation security because we have to run our own aviation assets in order to get people around iraq, and then 10% problematic staff. now, dod is looking, as you know, congressman, for setting up office of security operation outposts in iraq. they will have about 4,000 personnel out of that 17,000, so it is going, you know, district hire is 16% of the total, contractors will make up the other 84%. that is not an optimal situation in my view, but it is what we have to do in order to meet the
obligations we took on under the bush administration that we accepted in the obama administration, and that we are prepared to fulfill going forward. .. as a partnership to get money from other countries plus the gates foundation and we have invested $647 million through fy10. our fyten request is 115 million. that leverages $7 from every
country beater which we think is a pretty good deal, and we believe we can demonstrate to you we save 5 million children's lives from the brink of eliminating polio from the world which would be great news for everybody. >> one quick point on that. there is still a problem in afghanistan, pakistan india and nigeria. >> and northern nigeria, that's right. we are working with the alliance and also i sent a team up to northern nigeria because we had to condense their religious leadership and northern nigeria, the imams and the elected leadership as well that polio vaccine was good for their children and it wasn't some kind of conspiracy that would sterilize their children. we were successful in getting both religious and elected leadership to do public service announcements and other things, so we really put a lot of effort behind this. we couldn't do it without the global alliance because they leverage our money. >> thank you, thank you madam
chair. >> chairman lewis. >> thank you madam chairman. before turning to the secretary let me say that i would like to echo the remarks of our chairman you are absolutely going to be a magnificent chairman of the subcommittee. >> thank you for helping me get here. [laughter] >> am secretary you and i have had a chance to spend some time talking about pakistan, india and others in the region and i cannot tell you the number of occasions i have had to discuss with people who have knowledge in the arena, democrat and republican largely nonpartisan. the numbers who have expressed great appreciation for not just your homework and knowledge but the articulate way you go about expressing our interest in that very diverse world marketplace so thank you for that. and having mentioned that, nonetheless, while you were in
that former job that you mentioned earlier, he referred a moment ago at a glance relative to what occurred in our successful effort in dealing with the mujahideen in colombia. indeed we were successful they are because we were able to forge a coalition of partners among a number of countries in our hemisphere who were willing to go a long, long ways to deal harshly and directly with the cartel and eventually broke their back and colombia had the chance then of being back as the real world country in our hemisphere. then you kind of referred to mexico in connection with that. i know that we are making some effort to develop similar coalitions. there is absolutely no question we are not going to deal with the breaking the back of these cartels in this drug scourge without that kind of effort going forward successfully.
can you help the committee understand what is taking place and what progress we have made in real terms? >> i will. we have as i said, focused on mexico with the merida initiative which predates this administration to try to do in mexico that kind of work that was successful in colombia and in fact colombia is now training some mexican law enforcement officials. we have started by building up institutional support and training as well as providing equipment, helicopters and other things that the mexican government wanted and needed. we are made in progress. it is comparable i would argue to where we started with colombia where i think when we started and you of course wherein the congress, it looked pretty hopeless. i mean it was an insurgency plus
the drug cartels. what an unholy alliance it was, hundreds of thousands of people were being dislocated because of the violence. so colombia in many ways was a worse situation than we see in mexico where the violence is fairly -- i mean it is horrific that it is fairly limited. there is not the massive dislocations internally. we have a president, president held the run who shares the commitment that president uribe had that it is going to take time congressman. this is not easily done and the other problem we have which we are now addressing is the central american countries. several of them are very weak, very dominated by the drug cartels, so that the southern border of mexico is an area that we have to help the mexicans try to fortify it because a lot of the drugs are coming north, a lot of the guns, a lot of the other problems so we are looking at how we strengthen central
america at the same time that we strengthen mexico and we are may king progress. we have a long way to go. >> madam secretary, in mexico we have known for a long long time that merida seems to be always alive and well. when you are dealing with cartels and you are dealing with that history, breaking the back of these drug warlords essentially is indeed an intense, difficult task. i believe that both our defense people but also the department of state needs to have our members, both houses, better know the harsh steps we took to be successful in colombia and the harsh steps, very harsh steps that may be necessary to identify and deal directly with these cartels. >> that is an excellent idea and if i could take you up on your invitation we would like to put together a kind of hole of government briefing for members who are interested here in the
house and of course we would do it in the senate because i want everybody to know what we are doing, what we are up against. as you've probably heard the attorney general announced the arrest in murder of our consulate employee yesterday, so we are making progress. we are bringing down some of the high value cartel leaders, but i would like you to know more and we would like your help and advice on at. >> thank you madam secretary. >> let me thank you for that commitment because it is extremely important and i believe that congress would respond very positively to that. mr. jackson please. >> thank you chairwoman granger. thank you chairwoman clinton and welcome back. secretary clinton before 9/11 august 171998 arcs the first time outside of attacked our embassies in nairobi kenya and
tanzania killing hundreds including 12 americans at the embassy in nairobi. since 1999 i long with several of bipartisan members of work to provide compensation to these 12 americans who are bravely serving their country despite intelligence unknown to the victims that show those embassies were likely al qaeda targets for attack. since the attacks a houses passed legislation during three separate congresses to address the issue only to be held up in the senate. furthermore the subcommittee has continually requested your department provide a legislative proposal for compensation to the state department employees killed by terrorist. yet no such legislation has been brought forward in the state department has failed to provide a reasonable proposal since the first congressional request in 1999. i'm sure we will be including similar language again in fiscal year 2012 bill. will you commit to work with me to finally bring peace to those families have been suffering for the last 13 years without compensation or closer? >> i would work with you. i know that this is a passion of yours congressman as it is that many of us. i remember meeting the families
of the victims at the memorial service and we will certainly see if there is any way. i can't make any promises but i will certainly work with you on that. >> thank you madam secretary. three weeks ago the house passed h.r. h.r. 1 which eviscerated and yesterday the senate rejected a bill. as you can know congress and the executive branch have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure tax dollars well spent and reflect the interests of american people. the budget represents less than 1.5% of total budget. as the head of the state department why should americans support this funding even in these tough economic times in what does it take for all americans? >> congressman first thank you are helping to set the record straight because i know in many polls, the american people think that we can balance their our budget by eliminating foreign aid and that foreign aid is 20 to 25% of our budget, so thank you for saying that everything we do in the foreign aid world
which is more than just the state department and usaid is less than 1.5%. our share of that is you know obviously about 1%, a little bit less. now why should a hard-working person in my state of new york or the chairwoman state of texas or your state of illinois either care about or think we should support this foreign aid budget and i think there are three reasons. first of all, i really do believe this promotes american security. i think it gives us tools that are in addition to and different from our military tools. and, i think most americans don't want to seek young americans going to war. they would rather see us prevent war, work with like-minded nations to try to help societies
will go to a country where the leaders may be publicly you know criticizing us and then in private they want all the help they can get. they want us to support them. and it is because we are not a former colonial power. we are not andism like communism or fascism or extremism, so we really do try to help people and that reflects who we are. so for our security and our interests and values, nearly every american has some concern that fits into one of those categories and that is where it happens. it happens out of our budget. >> one final quick question. the chairwoman granger ranking member lowey and i found ourselves in a peculiar position late one night defending our bill and in an effort to eliminate the institute of peace arguments were made on the floor of the congress that the state department and the had the institute of peace have duplicative functions and therefore it should be stricken
from the budget. with the secretary please like to make the distinction for members of congress big tweens lets but your mission is and the institute of peace? >> the institute of peace is a not-for-profit institution form by the congress to operationalize america's commitment to peace by working with like-minded individuals and groups around the world. sometimes the united states government coming in to train people in democracy is not as effective as seeing one of our expert teams from usip or iri or ndi. i think that it's been one of the strengths of american foreign policy is that we have faith-based groups who are working on all kinds of values issues. we have ngo's who are working on humanitarian disaster relief and other important matters and we have these organizations funded directly by our government, which is kind of unique that
fills a real place in our whole arsenal of what we can do when we interact with people. >> thank you very much. mr. kho. >> thank you adam secretary -- excuse me madam chairman. i would be remiss not to add my congratulations as well. i know how i got on this committee. madam secretary thank you free testimony and i would be remiss not to mention this. you won't recall that the first time i had the opportunity to meet u.n. former close for -- president clinton. u.n. president clinton just performed so magnificently, not just at the moment but for months and months afterwards as we continue to work through our issue so thank you very very much and thank you as well for the role i perceive you to have played in developing our current afghanistan policy. that was a tough moment. you may not agree with the analogy but it was like a search moment for bush when you do something that is not very popular and particularly within
their own political rank so i think that was very much the national interest and i appreciate the additional military commitment. i've been on the ground in tennessee and to see what your people in the state are doing and it is night and day different than it was on previous trips so again thank you very much. i think it is making an enormous difference. i want to go back to libya for a minute and dry comparison with egypt and get your thoughts. in egypt we have a long-standing relationship. we have a lot of contacts. we have an institution to work with them through an army and so i can sort of see a more hopeful scenario potentially unfolding for us. libya is so much more challenging. you know we have very little in the way of civil society and very little in the way of the long term relationship. we have got a dictator who is back to the wall and has no way out like saddam hussein in a sense of the us every reason to fight to the last bullet so to speak. he is that significant domestic support, not the majority but it
is enough. and we have very few ways to directly impact the situation. and i know you were getting a lot of competing advice about no-fly zones but i just want to know what you are -- your thinking is about how we should proceed step by step, what kind of acid to think we have to deploy here and what you envision moving forward? >> congressman, i think that is the question of the day, because that is what we are really focused on, trying to figure out how to get through by thanks for your kind words in oklahoma city. at a picture of that lone laundry that survived in my home. you are right, your analysis of libya is right. you know we didn't have diplomatic relations with libya. we were able thanks to a lot of good work that lasted over a number of years to get him to give up his nuclear weapons. i was involved becoming secretary of state to get the
last of the a.g. you out of libya. imagine what we would be dealing with it that had not been done. he still does as you probably know still have some remaining chemical weapons and some other nasty stuff that we are concerned about. so clearly we are working on three different levels simultaneously. first, we are working to create an international consensus because we think that is absolutely critical to anything that anybody especially us does. you can see that there is a lot of ambivalence in the international community because of the reasons you pointed out. people don't know what the opposition represents. they don't know the most effective way to try to get rid of qaddafi so everybody is working hard. nato is working hard. we are internally and our own government looking at every option imaginable. at the same time, we are pushing out on humanitarian assistance.
we really believe that getting in as much help articulately for those leaving libya but also increasingly if we could figure out how to do it safely assisting those on the ground who are running short of medical supplies, who need doctors, who need in some instances clean water etc. that we are able to help them when we can get a clear way to do that. and then we are trying to sanction access that he has to his accounts. we are trying to make it clear to the people around him that there will be accountability through the international criminal court and other steps taken. but i appreciate the tenor of your question because if this were easy we would have already done it. but this is not easy. we did have 30 years of relationships. it is a much less easily understood situation that we are
making progress. we are talking to a lot of the opposition leaders. i will as i said be meeting with them myself. we are suspending our relationships with the existing libyan embassy, so we expect them to and operating in the embassy of libya. and we are looking to see whether there is any willingness in the international community to provide any authorization for further steps. i am one of those who believe that absent international authorization, the united states united states acting alone would be stepping into a situation whose consequences are unforeseeable, and i know that is the way our military fields. it is easy for people to say do this, do that and then they turn and say okay u.s. go do it. you use your assets. you use your men and women. you get out there and do it and
you take the consequences of something bad happens and i want to remind people that we had a low -- no-fly zone over iraq or kuwait did not prevent saddam hussein from slaughtering people on the ground and it did not get him out of office. we had a no-fly zone and then we had 78 days of bombing in serbia or kuwait did not give milosevic out of office. it did not get him out of kosovo until we put troops on the ground with our allies. so i really want people to understand what we are looking at and i will reiterate what the president has said and what art administration has consistently said. we are considering everything, but we think it is important that the congress and the public understand as much as possible about what that actually means and i can assure you that the president is not going to make any decision without a great deal of careful thought and deliberation. >> i appreciate the
thoughtfulness and the caution, i really do and i will reserve my questions obviously. thank you madam chair. >> thank you. mr. schiff. >> thank you for the absolutely extraordinarily job you do. let me just pick up where my colleague left off. i concur completely with the idea that we need to do whatever we need to do with the international community. what has made these revolution so powerful as they have been indigenous. they have not been at the tip of the american sphere or imposed from outside. all that being said, i hope that we can find success working with the international community to take as aggressive and swiss action is possible for. it is excruciating to watch the libyan people attacked a their own government with all the powerful machinery as the libyan mattila terry is just
devastatingly trapped -- tragic to watch. i think this period period is one of the most promising potentially that we have seen in decades. with the transition going on in the middle east and north african what happens in the next couple of years may be something as momentous as the collapse of the soviet union and the legacy of this a demonstration may have as much to do with this has anything else and maybe a lot or. so, the success of what is begun in tunisia and egypt i think is such an enormous irony. in terms of undermining al qaeda narrative, what happens in those countries may eclipse the significance in iraq and much less cost of life and treasure. so i'm all in favor of what in that -- whatever investment we can make and these people powered revolutions and i know
we'll win the collapse of the soviet union took place we were in an economic recession and it didn't stop us from helping to build eastern europe and our current economic circumstances cannot cripple us from seeing the opportunity and the necessity of a vigorous effort now. a lot of these revolutions have been powered by economic factors, not just political ones and their success may depend on economic factors. at the egyptian people don't see any progress in the economy, we may trade one authoritarian regime for another. so i wanted to ask you about that. there has been some reprogramming that you mentioned with respect to each of. can we do some reprogramming to help the tunisian people. that is a great prospect for success in tunisia, a smaller more homogeneous population. do we need to look at the
calibration of military and civilian assistance to egypt in a finite resource to world? obviously the relationship with the military is key. we don't want to do anything to undermine that. at the same time there is a tremendous civilian economic need. how can we find the resources to help those countries economically stay on the path they are on? >> i think you are asking the right question because i believe that if people don't see some improvement in their economic circumstances, they will become discouraged and maybe even start to turn away from democracy and we can't permit that to happen if we have any role to play, we need to play it. again, and mean a lot of it comes down to the money that we already have that we are trying to reprogram. we are going to be -- i will be working to get up to $20 million for tunisia to respond to some
of their needs. when i met with the tunisian secretary secretary of state in geneva about a week and a half ago he said we want american help. we remember america was with us when we became independent in the 1960s which goes back to kind of the feelings, the attitudes and the values that people have so i think you are absolutely right. we need to have a very big commitment to tunisia that we can be ready to help them economically as well as with the democratic transformation. similarly with egypt, they have asked us to look at a lot of different possibilities. we are doing the best we can within the budget we have, and that we can anticipate. but i underscore your point congressman. this is an amazing opportunity. when i spoke with the egyptian officials just over the last couple of weeks they kept mentioning central and eastern europe. they kept saying that is where we want to turn out.
we don't want to get derailed. we want this to work. so we want to help them make it work, and i think it is going to require that we have budgetary assistance for them, that we have economic incentives going to small and edm enterprises which could help stimulate the economy from the bottom up in each of. we are looking at all of that. >> thank you very much. mr. diaz-balart. >> thank you very much madam secretary. let me first that my words of gratitude for your service to the united states of america. madam secretary, in october, i am sorry in september 2010 you made it really impacting statement and if i may just to take a few seconds to quote what you said. you said -- posted national security threat into in two ways that undermine their capacity to act in our own interest and it does constrain us where constraints may be undesirable and it also sends a message of weakness internationally.
i share your concerns about the threat that poses to our national security. when you made that statement, that was 13 for -- $13.4 billion. would it be fair to say that of secretary that you have 13 trillion more reasons to be concerned about the national security of the united states? >> i don't think it increases it by 13 trillion. i think it goes up to 14 trillion i think i'm a but it is a big number congressman. let me, let me take your question very seriously because obviously you quoted me and that is what i believe. if we are not strong at home we are not going to be strong abroad and i know from my own experience, both serving and this esteemed congress and in being first lady during the '90s, that there is going to have to be a deal. and the deal is going to have to put everything on the table and
the deal is going to have to include revenue and entitlements along with spending because i am just looking at this budget. you cannot get to where you and i would like to see us headed by cutting nondefense discretionary spending, so that is number one. number two, i think it is important to consider what we do as part of the nation's defense. if this body is going to cut defense board dhs or veterans, a smaller proportion, and they are going to cut us a much larger proportion that has implications for dhs and dod because we are on the frontline of border security. we are on that early the frontlines in iraq, afghanistan and pakistan so we want to be treated the same way you've treated fence and -- so that would be the second i make.
thirdly, i think that the budget that we have proposed is a budget that number one, puts everything into the budget because up until now, we have been funding a lot out of supplementals. both in defense and in usaid and in the department of state. you know we kind of ride on the back of dod when they come in for these big supplementals. so what we have said and maybe it was a political mistake, but it was an honest effort to say let's be transparent, let's put everything into the budget. let us tell you what our core operations are, 47 billion let us tell you but our frontline state overseas contingency operations are comet 8.7 billion. ..
case for your consideration. >> i have a very little time that so far the administration has announced easing of sanctions on cuba twice. between those senators and increased repression and oppression you are aware of the case of others in the american hostage you met. the question is what is the regime have to do to make any consequences from this
administration as the administration willing to look at the tightening of the regulations, harder push for democracy assistance at the very least the state department travel warning again? will would be the consequences as well by the way? if one actually has now this american citizen has been now became a real court so again there have been the easing of sanctions. further repression. will there be any consequences for that further repression for the death of a political prison and the taking of the american hostage and my time is running out. >> congressman, very quickly, and i will be happy to get more for the record. we share your commitment to freedom and democracy from the cuban people that is an absolute ironclad commitment. i had that commitment myself this administration and president share it. we deplore the injustice towards our in gross. he needs to be home with his family immediately. and we mourn the loss of the
mistreatment of the mother and all of the other abuses by the cuban government. so we share the same goals and the same emotions. our decision to try to engage more in the cuban government only indirectly by helping the cuban people is intended to try to strengthen the direct engagement and provide more support for grassroots initiative. so can disagree about the tactics that we can have total agreement about what we are attempting to achieve in terms of goals. >> one comment before we go to mr. roffman. as i sit in my remarks, h.r. one we absolutely recognize the part that this committee and this bill had in our national security and so in putting that together and we said, you know, that would be the last place we would try to cut and recognize non-defense discretionary
spending. >> i could spend the entire five minutes and more in your extraordinary work as secretary of state. you bring incredible energy, intelligence, command of the issues and if i may say so your credibility as hillary rodham and hillary rodham clinton both. and the united states is much more secure your service. god bless you and god speed in your work. i want to think you for your leadership in the united states veto at the security council on that one-sided ridiculous resolution that was attempting to force agreement on the two-stage solution that is also desperately but the palestinians are resisting by utilizing ulin just to criticize israel completely one-sided to complete one-sided prejudicial actions and grateful for your
leadership. i hope this now closes the book. the palestinians or anyone else who would try to use the dram as a substitute for direct negotiations between the israelis and palestinians. the israelis desperately want it to state solution and have put everything on the table and i regret the palestinians haven't come to the table. i know you do too. i also want to think you for your remarks at the commission in geneva where you very candidly and forcefully questioned why there's a separate account of standing committee to criticize the state of israel with all of the slaughter and genocide and human trafficking adel the other horrific things going on in the world they have a standing committee only to criticize the jewish state of israel and i want to thank you for your candid and remarks. iran still remains the number
one threat to the united states as the national security. iran has a great interest in the instability for the north africa but along the gulf and throughout the middle east. bahrain is the gateway perhaps to saudi arabia. it is a banking center, our fleet is there, and a lot of people are worried that iran is trying to use its influence to destabilize of rain and to take a practical control of bahrain and then move on to saudi arabia. do you share those concerns? do you see involvement in the protests and demonstrations an uprising in ball game and how we continue to prevent iran from developing nuclear weapons and destabilizing the region for its own hegemonic interests. >> i appreciate your raising the continuing threat we see from
iran while we are focused on the developments in north africa and the middle east we have to continue to keep focus on iran and we certainly are. what we see happening right now, and i can only give you that snapshot because our assessment now is that the internal disk course in what came is a domestic phenomenon that comes from the demand by the 70% shia population for greater political rights, greater economic opportunities and it requires a domestic solution. so we have been doing is working with bahrain to work with themselves to try to come up with a way forward. now there is no doubt as we have
publicly and privately expressed all people according to our values have a universal right to express themselves to associate assembled freely and swedes urged the government of bahrain to expect those rights of the same time we have also credited with the government is trying to do three national dialogue to come up with some agreed upon reforms that would be implemented. you know bob green is a friend, the are an ally. we deeply value their longtime association with us. the king has announced that the princess to lead the national dialogue and we are encouraged by some of the steps we've seen recently that this can result in a genuine dialogue. >> madame secretary we're keeping an eye on iran to influence the region. >> so far we don't see if evidence in itself, but we keep
a close look on that because we think that iran would try to influence anybody anywhere against their own government and against us. so that's a jury did part of the we are doing and the sooner the people themselves of of rain can move towards this national dialogue the less concerned we will have about iran. >> thank you. thank you madame secretary for being. littleness for having to part for part of this hearing that i was encouraged in your testimony use it with a standing with the people as they braved the bombs and bullets and demand he must go down without further violence or delete. i certainly agree and appreciate what the department and the administration are doing with respect to food, water supply and other humanitarian support to the libyan people. but on the broad level i am a little bit concerned about what i would call perhaps a lack of clarity in terms of the administration policy with respect to the various uprisings we have seen throughout the middle east and north africa. i am concerned about the
repetitions of what happened in hungary in the 1950's and in the arab uprising in 1991, the arabs and the kurds after the 91 gulf war. and i'd just very concerned that we are seeing a lack of clarity in terms of maybe a failure to distinguish between the madmen and tyrants who use terror to suppress their people and perhaps friendly autocrats who used teargas and my fear is we are not sending the right messages in some cases to friend and foe alike and i'm curious what your reaction is to that question. >> congressman i don't agree with that, i do agree these are very difficult situations and i am not sure that there is one response that adequately addresses the differences that exist. we were just talking about bahrain. bahrain is a very different
challenge in our view than what we are seeing in libya which is different from them in and egypt, and in each of those places, america's interest are uniform with respect that we support people's universal rights, their genuine aspirations. but our approach towards each is obviously guided by what we see on the ground and how we think we can influence. take libya for a simple, i was speaking earlier with one of your
state's staffing plans. do you plan to continue the staffing build up in fiscal year 21 and what are your plans for the 2012 budget. >> ,, we started in the bush administration. both president bush and secretary rice realized that we were just not equipped to do what we were expected to do particularly the front line states, and one of the reasons i've been able to more than triple the presence of civilians in afghanistan and accept the responsibility of what we are supposed to do in iraq is because of that increase. we've been able to take our people and redeploy them and not leave out the essential functions and processing visas in mexico or china for example. so it has been considered view not only within the two administrations but outside experts from all sides of the political spectrum who said that the state and usaid had to
increase their personnel mission and and it's in accordance with what congress decides and we are going to try to do that. >> i yield back. >> mr. austria. >> thank you, madam chairman. madam secretary, thank you for being here. think you for your commitment and service to the country and we appreciate it very much. let me if i could go back to israel for just a minute because it's an important issue to me and looking at the events of the recent weeks it's highlighted the unique role that israel plays in the middle east as a reliable comes to win the democratic ally that shares our values and interest. we talked about iran which is extremely important to me that with the trauma of the fence in egypt and libya and throughout the middle east that overall unrest in the middle east i'm concerned the world attention not be diverted and could be diverted from the danger of
iran's nuclear program. and i am concerned that iran could use its time to speed up that program and crack down on the opposition of human rights activists and i think it's critical that iran understand that the world is still watching. we are watching them and there will be consequences for continued disrespect for international policy. my question is the administration has yet to sanction the non-irani in banks with turkey comes off korea, ukraine, chinese banks and the financial institutions. and i'm concerned about the lack of sanctions on companies that continue to invest in iran's energy sector in violation of the u.s. law. the state department i'm not aware of any sanctions on any non-4n or monatana iranian foreign company for its investment in iran's energy sector and i wanted to ask you
and i know there's legislation also pending that was signed i believe last july by the president which requires the state department to complete investigations within 180 days after receiving credible information of a violation. what is happening as far as the sanctions towards companies still dealing with iran as far as the bank of iran and what is the state department doing to enforce this? >> thank you very much, congressman. last summer we were pleased to work with the congress to pass the comprehensive iran sanctions accountability investment act which we call of of of the state department. and last fall i became the first secretary of state ever to impose sanctions under the prior act, the iran sanctions act and you're right it was on a swift pace iranian firm that was a major investor in the oil and gas development that became the next test case because of until
then, they're had not been an agreement upon the criteria and willingness to oppose that sanction. on the human rights side we have been designating iranian for human rights abuses and we will keep that going and i am very committed to that. we have also used tasatto to convince shell, state oil, in packs to withdraw from iran so the threat of the sanction has produced the result we were seeking. and we have also been opening up investigations, monitoring sanction activities. we are going to pursue a lot of these leads we have. some of this is in a classified format but we would be happy to give you and your staff a briefing so we know what we are doing and how we are pursuing with a lead that we get from our investigations.
>> thank you. let me say i want to thank you and your staff. we had a situation in egypt and you talked about the wonderful job that's being done with the staff. we have a situation where over in egypt during the uncertainty over their with the government and your office did an outstanding job of helping that student and other students who were at the american university over there to ensure their safety to get back to the united states and i want to thank you for your work on that and help on that and with that i will yield back. >> thank you very much. we promise the secretary would be through at noon. it's not, however, time goes fast we go down to three minutes each. i will ask a question, one for a short question has to do with some concerns of it coming to my office about the ambassador's fund for the cultural preservation and the projects such as restoring the mosques
and other religious sites has been a pretty. the h.r. one prohibited those funds but the administration is included 5.75 million in the fy 12 request for the ambassador fund. also, u.s. aid does similar funds. can you provide us with how much has been spent on cultural preservation that both the state and u.s. aid and most importantly, why does the administration think we should continue to fund projects like this? is this a program would be willing to give up for the higher national security priorities? >> madame chairwoman, over a ten year period since 2001, the ambassadors cultural fund has provided $1,179,684 to 29 projects. mostly archaeological sites including churches, mosques and synagogues.
what we have used that for, but ambassadors have used that for is to illustrate to countries respect for their culture, the history, the religion, and we think it's been a good tool but obviously this is an area where we like to give some discretion to our ambassadors so that they are able to do things that can make people feel good about america but obviously we would be more than willing to talk to you about it. >> thank you. one other concern that cannot in the "washington post" that has to do with it was a criticism of the u.s. civilian surge in afghanistan the civilian surge is hunkered down in the capitol removed from the frontline where they are most needed. can you give an update on that? >> it's really not fair. our people are out there. that's why when our military leaders appear before you like general petraeus he talks about
having our civilians right there. they are in bed with them, they go out with them and come in with them. we do have a staff in kabul because we work closely with the afghan government which is a very important priority, and we also coordinate closely with general petraeus whose headquarters are also in kabul. don't hold me to i will try to get the exact numbers, but our percentage of people now out in the country not only has gone up dramatically in the last two years but is more efficient in the way that we are partnering so can give you additional details about that. >> thank you. >> thank you again. we want to get you out on time. two quick points. first my colleagues mentioned sanctions and i want to congratulate you and the administration for really moving that agenda in the united nations and also through state and treasury. however, there was an expos day
in december, 2010. it listed many possible clues to companies getting around the sanctions. so i just want to emphasize again that this committee feels very strongly about continuing to tighten the sanctions. another issue that you have been dealing with that i know having watched you talk to many governments about corruption, corruption, i have been very concerned as have you about the fact, and i quote, fewer than 3 million of the pakistan's 175 million citizens pay any income taxes and the country's tax to gdp ratio is only a 9%. this is one of the lowest acts to the gdp ratio in the world. and i know that you have spoken up about this. these countries have a very difficult time and we know just recently it is an outburst from
the elite but if there's anything we can do working with you we understand the importance of the relationship and the alliance but the fact that we are spending billions of dollars and our tax dollars and they are not contributing with regard to the taxes. so if you have a quick comment on that i would be most appreciative. >> i have a comment to say thank you because this is a pet peeve of mine. i am more than proud to have the united states help countries in need, but it's very hard to accept helping a country that will help itself by taxing its richest citizens to start their and we know because i spoke out about it when i was in pakistan the jury first time. the tax system is woefully in equitable and does not in any way reflect the need the people of pakistan have for schools, health clinics and so much else.
so i've been very outspoken about this. it has caused some criticism, but i feel strongly about it, i feel strongly about mexico. mexico's percentage of revenue gdp is not what it should be. some countries we are helping have to face up to the tough political decisions and there's many different ways to get the revenue you need, but i think we have to look at doing more to encourage them to step up and meet their own people's needs. >> i appreciate that and in the one minute remaining i know this committee because of the tremendous budget challenges would be delighted to help you the international monetary fund not long ago i took it was 2008 rose $11.3 billion loans that was approved for the tax vv to pakistan until they ponied up and did something about the tax issue something to true leadership and we look forward to continuing to work and think you for your leadership.
>> mr. lewis? >> madam secretary, i wanted to asked a question to say i look forward to other channels and opportunities to discuss the military -- >> thank you. i look forward to that. >> thank you, madame chair. i just want to make a comment about iraq, which i think you have addressed in your remarks but it's important we spent and will spend literally thousands of american lives, tens of thousands wounded of our brave men and women. we have spent and will spend trillions of dollars on that war heretofore and in the future for health care for those who came home and others support. it would be a disaster if we did not do the follow-up after the troops were gone such that iraq
became an unfriendly nation or god forbid became a satellite like lebanon of iran and iran of course as you know, madam secretary, is interested in just that and has invested in the elections and aspects of the iraqi economy, etc.. and so your statement your interest in having consulates throughout iraq fighting is brilliant as well as the work of the pentagon and their efforts. we are on this foreign operations subcommittee and madam chairman and also on the defense committee will want to say that that is an investment we must continue to make the best we've moved or throw away all of the sacrifices that this nation has put in. >> i agree, congressman. the things that keep me up at
night, which are many and growing - to about five or ten years seeing a situation like you are describing develop, where at least southern iran or maybe all the way up to kirkuk is largely under iran's influence and they lost their chance to be an independent arab nationalistic democracy and people say to us what were you thinking? you had this incredible war and you lost all these lives and have these veterans who are suffering. were you thinking? i don't want to answer that question saying well, you know, we decided once the military left we left because i think i would be really great tragedy and unfair to all the sacrifice that this country and particularly our brave young men and women have made. >> thank you madame secretary and madame chair. >> thank you, madam chairman. just one question for a little
follow-up on mr. rothman. you are trying to manage a very difficult situation that really nobody anticipated. we have the adversaries who didn't anticipate either but they are trying to exploit it. so from al qaeda and iran, what are they doing in egypt, what are they doing in libya and these other places. >> that's another thing that keeps me of that might come congressman cole. meter elon al qaeda had anything to do with these uprisings. now there are those who are of conspiratorially minded approach is and claim they do but there is no evidence of that, but there is no doubt they are going to try to get a vantage of everything that is happening everywhere. we know from our intelligence reporting, from anecdote reporting, our embassies, political officers the everywhere iran can to get in touch they are going to either directly or indirectly through
proxies' like hezbollah and hamas. there is no doubt that hezbollah, to go back to the question about bahrain that congressman schiff asked the hezbollah is an adult the late to influence bahrain and try to say you should be what we are and look at where we are with such a major influence in the lebanese government. you have got hamas on the border of egypt, you've got absolutely every reason to believe that with iran now supporting hamas they are going to be trying to do not they can do to influence the outcome. we are in a competition for influence all over the world right now. we are the leading power. we have enormous assets but in the asia-pacific we are competing with china and africa we are competing with china and africa we are competing with iran and latin america competing with china and increasingly iran. we are not in a static situation we have the luxury to say give
us a few years and then we will get back in the game. so i think you're caution is a very strong one and i would add this point is al qaeda has a presence in what is called al qaeda and the islamic monrad which is north africa. they had a presence to some extent in libya. they were suppressed like everybody else in libya was suppressed. but there is no doubt in my mind if they see an opportunity just as they saw an opportunity in somalia and they have seen in ghanem they are going to the decanter influence the outcome. so the united states is faced with a choice. we can stand on the sidelines and hope and pray for the best, we can get so involved that we are accused of interfering, going after oleo, chongging to occupy another islamic country where we can try to do what we are doing which is, you know, be smart about how we offer
assistance, how we respond and bring the international community along and that is the toughest of the options but that is what we are trying to do. >> thank you madame secretary. >> thank you. mr. schiff? >> thank you, madame chair. i'm curious about the egyptian decision to allow ships to go through the suez canal. it seemed like an odd out of step move coming on the heels of the military i think very quickly and strategically saying it would observe the peace treaty with israel. it just seemed out of the blue. can you shed any light on what motivated that? i also want to ask about pakistan. i was really discouraged to see not only the terrible assassinations of the governor pune job and the minority cabinet member but even more disturbing was the public reaction of pakistan which was to have the mass celebrations of
the first and maybe somewhat diminished in terms of the second but tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of people celebrating in favor of the assassin to have the lawyers who had been advocating for the court now advocating for the assassin. it's so discouraging to me. are we losing the battle for hearts and minds of the are going to be celebrating assassins. where the victims are people preaching tolerance. >> well, first i don't have any insight other than that is a major source of revenue. so every ship that goes through pays a bunch of money and i think close to two injured thousand dollars came into the egyptian with the two ships going through so it should be something congress and as simple as we are desperate and need money and they want to go through. make sure they pay. i don't have any other information. with respect to pakistan would be tied to the budget because i
share our concern. i met his family when i was in pakistan a year or so ago and i deeply regret it and more and his murder and was appalled by the reaction in the country. the reaction when the minister was murdered was much more in keeping with what i would expect and hope for any country that when someone was a patriot that stood up for the rights of all of the pakistanis including the minority communities, the minority christian and the minority islamic communities was assassinated, people did speak out and were quite upset. we have a very difficult situation in pakistan. i don't want to sugar coat. when i became the secretary of state, i realized our public standing was as low in pakistan
of any country in the world and there are many reasons for that. but one of the problems was we were not really trying to respond to a lot of the criticism and a lot of the accusations. so when the question came - to from this side about the increase in personnel because we are beefing up hour public diplomacy we have a great story to tell about america and we are going to keep telling it and we are telling it under very difficult circumstances. our standing in pakistan is very difficult because there's just so much going on inside of the country itself. when i was here the first time in 09, i said the pakistanis needed to take on the extremists inside their own country and they've done that so there are things changing but it's a long way to go. >> thank you.
>> mr. diaz-balart. >> thank you, madame chairwoman. mr. secretary, let me figure for those words on behalf of the cause and i want to make a very clear, there is no doubt in my mind that you want freedom for the cuban people. no doubt in my mind at all. i just want to bring you go to the attention that if you look at the time when the mr. clapper was talking about, and i have it here i'm not going to quote it, but his statement where he talked about how the economy in that island is destroyed and the people on the verge of revolt because of its. this administration has these sanctions, and i would also then point out this on the hammes report and i'm not going to quote it but it talks about how the community to cubin employees to be to authorities of benefit from travel for u.s. visitors and then later goes on to say
that the results suggest that for cuba the loosening of travel restrictions help offset the decline and the arrivals from the global financial crisis. and it goes on. in the interest of time, madam secretary, i'd like to continue to work with you because it is evident that the loosening of the restrictions are frankly helping the regime, not helping at. it is helping to fund the regime at that time when this administration has said publicly on more than one occasion the situation in cuba, the economy is in dire straits, and yet, according to the imf and others, we are now being one of the -- the united states through travel
such as possibly the muslim brotherhood. >> well, first we are working closely with of the so-called staff, the supreme council of the armed forces field marshal who is the head of the organization has served with a guardian and caretaker of the state of egypt and is also leading the transition to democracy. they are very pleased when among the first act was to issue a statement that they were going to respect the can't david accord and peace between israel and egypt and we want to encourage that and see that continue. i've seen the collapse of the interior department, the security system and the police force inside egypt has made a very difficult situation for the military even harder.
so they are working for the information that would hamas and we think that they are taking appropriate steps, but we are going to keep a close eye on that. we think that they understand the need to have an electoral system that doesn't favor any one group that makes it a free and fair election. we've made clear our policy is to support those who are committed of space values who are not involved in or endorsed the violence in any way who wish to participate in free and fair elections and it will be ultimately up to the e egyptian people to decide who the leaders will be, who they will select, but we want to be sure that they are given as much information as possible from other countries about how to run the elections that will produce results that keep democracy going because the
last thing we want to see is one election and then it's over as some organized groups people are mentioning looking at hungary and other places, look at iran. iran at the time didn't look like it would morphed into the police state it has become. so there are a lot of lessons and we and others are sharing our experiences with the egyptians. >> thank you madame secretary. >> thank you for your attention today and response as we appreciate you being here. we appreciate the job you've done and continue to do. this will conclude today's hearings. members may submit questions. madam secretary, the committee prospectus prompt response is sweet to make decisions on the fiscal year 2012 request. thank you again. this hearing is adjourned. [inaudible conversations]
senate majority leader harry reid indicated today that democrats would be more willing to compromise with republicans on a spending plan for the rest of this fiscal year. his comments came a day after the senate rejected two different federal spending proposals. after his five and a statement you will hear more about federal spending from budget committee ranking member jeff sessions alabama. followed by fellow budget inmmittee member bernie sandersg >> it's time once again for us o to get down to business.
it did bring one thing to our minds and he does that very that clearly.learly it will not reach a resolution r for all the others consent. we vote on the republican budget proposal and democratic budgetwd proposal either plan can close to 60 votes to pass reason 51 votes would have represented the majority of the senate.ublicly we've demonstrated publicly and on the record and we know the answer lies somewhere between,we somewhere in the middle. now it's time to find that b answer in a budget where we the think our values t country running and create jobs. i can speak only for my caucus and i say we accept the lessonst of yesterday's vote. we know we have to make sacrifice to reach a consensus.o willing to do that to move theig position also.ment
given to the millionaires making record profits of compani acknowledgments would help close the deficit gap both would be big pieces to the puzzle.illing mr. president, perhaps o republicans are willing to offef a more reasonable cut to the mmocratic caucus for support. by the reasonable cuts i mean cuts that don'ton arbitrarily kinkead start of class or college students of pell grantst both cuts were resoundinglywhat rejected yesterday. what i mean is these cuts that don't pull the plug for cuts by 1,000 of the health centers across the country. mr. president took the country's substantial budget and find cutt worthy than those that would baken the law enforcement,forc, border security to keep us safe. and i hope they will.oc i hope they will join democrats in saving money by capturing waste fraud and abuse and i hope
they will join us in makingicesn tough choices and avoiding the temptation to a t counterproductive cuts.aking this strengthens the economy anr doesn't weaken our economy.let'c it's cut in thute i way that mas our neighborhoods, schools, borders stronger, not weaker.ast as the negotiation process begins, i remind my republican friends time is short.t i also remind them of the deadline we face a week from tomorrow is a deadline they set, de we didn't set, democrats want the process would take a month o and they would agree only to that two weeks. so my message of this this.shoud republican colleagues should sed tie deadline and thety mee responsibility of meeting it is there twice as much as ours. both parties also share theth pi responsibility to be reasonableo so let's get to work. we cannot negotiate this in thes media. we cannot negotiate this as if
we are unwilling to give anytubd ground. we cannot be stubborn to the customer and expect a solution. ic's time to negotiate good polt faith and for all politicalim posturing and it's time for pras pragmatism which is longtoy fri overdue.en i would also say to my friends on the house.ery, the senate has produced twoobs very, very strong job bills. one is the reauthorization which is long overdue as a bipartisan, bill passed overwhelmingly kuran senate and would save or create0 280,000 jobs to take a step in the reduction.overhe over the last 24 hours we've passed patent reform bill. that will create 300,000 jobs, these jobs bills need to beletee completed by hthe house sen representatives so we can send these jobs bills are important. the house should focus on jobsa.
not these arbitrary cuts they've beent, making. i repeat i would hope the house would right away work on the jobs bills that have already passed the senate, patents andof of course the f. a. adel. we >> we had to important votes wei yesterday on what we are going to do about the surging deaths that this nation is encouraging the be concurring and the danger of the debt poses to the future health of our economy, prosperity of our people and employment of our people, we has a debt crisis from a financial crisis in 2007 and we stillm haven't recovered from it, itnds damaged us. are it damaged american individualsy there are people unemployed of that, and we haven't yet but
recovered from it. we asked vv to have some growth that we've come out of it.in a we've got to deal with that and in a serious way.as, so the proposal was as passed by fding the house to reduce the spendin for the restin of the seven mons in this fiscal year ending said bert dirty if by in $61,000,000,000.0 were colleagues in the senate proposed to do nothing basically, $4.6 billion of reduction in spending over the that is an unacceptable number, perhaps we can disagree overut where the cuts ought to occur, but it's critically important at this time in history as i willcn discuss we take real action that sends a message and actually mey saves money, not washingtonsavig speak about saving money, butinn real savings in money and we cat
do that. i rvery city, county and state ise doing that all of the country in a far bigger reductions inductii spending we are discussing herel so the house proposal was to reduce discretionary spending 61 billion which is about 6% reduction and the planned pla spending level. country.it w's still well above the levele we were spending in 2008. but that 61 billion when calculated over ten years because it reduces the baseline of the government spending, wher we calculate the net savings of $862 billion counting interestbs because it's that 61 billion at every year plus the interest and we pay interest on the health ye care running up.projecng this year we started out
projecting $1.3 trillion deficif this year, the largest in the history of the republic, but now the stories have gone up and we 1,600,000,0e00,000. we take in $3.8 trillion. no, we spend $3.8 trillion but we are bringing in of $2.2 trillion. d.is is why 40% of what we are e spending this year is borrowed.w we have an opportunity now, ifee this is it. we need to reduce spending now. you say well, we can wait.foe we don't want to reduce spendinv for someor of our favorite ear programs. this is damaging.ikehe we hear the old speeches that sound like they were given 20 years ago about any proposal to cut any spending level is seen
sugges as some total defeat could total disaster suggesting the republic will cease to exist.now and of that isn't so. they are not buying that. what world are we in? the president submits a budgetog that basically does nothing but continue the increase inte spending. we just had the state department in the budget committee on the ranking republicans on the budget they are asking for a% 10.5% increase in the state department spending. the department of education wase andy last week. they want 11%. the department of interior was in and the president proposed a 9.5% increase in their spending' increases 2012. that's their proposal. what will doherty and? what what about transportation? pposd
you know what the proposed increase transportation? $62 billion. excuse me, 62%. this is -- what world are we operating in? jus you say you're just exaggerating. it's business as usual. we don't have to make any n changes.o we need to make investmente sections. this country needs to have more. investment.3% the state department had a 33% increase in two years. had education department had 30% increase. i mean, when does it stop? if you reduce some of the increase is obtained is that ors some real cut or is it just moving back to a more same is. level?on't have that's what it is but when youhe don't have money, you have to make tough decisions. are
you just raising this politically?political just trying to make a politicalg point? or is it really something here that's happening in america s that's dangerous and requires us ep to take this step whether we want to take the s otep or not r we've required to? w is it real? we have a crisis that is to tha. is dangerous? this is what mr. alan simpson, senator simpson, mr. bowles wasn mr. clinton's the fed chief of staff and was appointed by president obama to co-chair the debt commission that did the hea report. this is what he said the day yty before yesterday both of them, s this is a signed a joint joint statement that the budget budget committee the day before that if
yesterday. we believe that if we do noteciv take decisive action, our nation faces the most predictable economic crisis in its history,t and of quote. they or these extremists? w they said much of the crisis the nation is in, what it takes toty get out of it and the proposed we ared doing. and just yesterday, they said wi has ever faced in its history. coming. people say it won't happen to us. pbably well they should probably take " up the book. this time it's different.at professor rinehart i believe, one of the other great universi. universities, and other book is
proposing and shows hownd how government sovereign get into financial trquouble and quicklye bad things can happen and the title of it should tell you tim something. the title is this time it's different. the title suggests all of these great finance years in these countries that ran up too much t debt never thought there was the going to happen to them and whes people raise questions they said don't worry.. this time it's different. ahis is this an extreme book? because they say that when youry debt based on the history and worldwide studies reaches 90% or the total economy, the total reh economy on average loses 1% growth and is at risk of a catastrophic adjustment.
well, what% of gdp for weeks we've gone over 95% and experts tell us that by september 30th when this fiscal year ends we 0% of will be at 100% of gdp. so is this some sort of fearrinr mongering talk or are we justinh dealing with reality? we are we really facing a crisis we can see plainly in front of us?c i suggest it is. mr. tim fight to -- geithner wht testified for the budget committee, mr. geithner was morr frankan when asked did you agree with the study? is that a sound study? a sound and then he said this, frankly , think it understates the rest. aderstates the risk and when asked about that, he saidcally,t basically there can be systemict immediate shock that occur that are unpredictable just like i 2007 when all of a sudden we une
bust. bust. modern world of electronic financial transfer very, very quickly. now, i -- i believe we can prevent this. i believe we can prevent it. but we've got to take action or we're heading in the wrong direction. well, did you notice the news yesterday? bill gross, who runs the world's biggest bond fund at pacific investment management, a tota total -- the big bond fund -- announced that they had totally eliminated u.s.-government related debt from their flagship -- ship fund. "as the united states government projected record deficits."
so that's a big development, frankly. i more money than anyone in the world i guess in the history of the world. he's eliminated government debt from the total return fund. and, that was just announced. was that something we should be concerned about? i think it is because, who is going to buy our debt? who will buy our treasury bond at now 10-year bonds at.5% or so interest? -- 3.5%. people get worried about the their debt. you sell the bonds. who will then buy them? where will we get people to buy our bond without paying higher and higher interest rates? and, well, we're, is our crisis coming upon us? let me share with you the testimony that mr. simpson and mr. bowles gave to the
budget committee just two days ago. this is what mr. bowles said. co-chairman appointed by president obama. he's very worried. quote, this problem is going to happen. it is a problem. we are going to have to face up to in maybe two years, maybe less. maybe a little more. close quote. he is talking about a crisis. he said it is the most predictable crisis the nation's ever faced. he is pleading with us to get off the course, the unsustainable path we're on. and then, what about alan simpson, the great, distinguished senator from wyoming who so frank and articulated, articulate in his expressions. he is always a delight to hear. this is what he said quote, i think it will woman before
two years. i'm just saying at some point i think within a year, at the end of the year if they, the people who old our debt, just thought you're playing with fluff, five, six, 7%, they're going to say, i want some money for my paper. and if there's anything guys love, it is money. and money guys when they start losing money panic and let me tell you, they will. it won't matter what the government does then. they will say, i want my money. i've got a better place for it. just saying for me, it won't be a year. we have a time agreement? >> time was expired some time ago. limited to 10 minutes. if you can finish up. >> i thank the chair and will wrap up and ask for two
additional minutes. >> without objection, so ordered. and a few more things that have happened. in analysis, this is the "washington post", late january, "in analysis of the u.s. debt last week, s&p, standard & poor's analysis said, the unthinkable could occur unless u.s. officials take action. they go on to say, quote, the u.s. officials must act quickly to control government deficits or face slower growth and even more difficult choices in the future. the international monetary fund said thursday in a report criticizing the tepid u.s. response to the rising debt. admiral mullen, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. i believe our debt is the greatest threat to our national security, close quote.
secretary hillary clinton, secretary of state in the obama administration. quote, secretary of state hillary clinton weighed into the nation's fiscal debate wednesday, calling the expected 1.3 trillion u.s. deficit a message of weakness internationally. the clinton said, quote, the deficit a national security threat. it was 1.3 when she said that in september. the projected deficit now is 1.6 plus. secretary geithner, as i indicated said the same. so, mr. president, we've had a debate. we had 10 democrats defect from the democratic bill that did nothing, saying we needed to go further. two republicans defected. one independent defected. probably thought it was spending, cutting too much. but the majority of people seem to be saying we need to reduce more. i suggest, our leaders get together, if there's a disagreement about where the
reductions ought to occur, so be it. let's work that out. but we need to reduce spending significantly. the house number in my view is a minimal amount. i believe it will send a message to the bill grosses of the world who move billions of dollars around that this country is willing to take action even tough action to get off the unsustainable path we're on. i thank the chair and would yield the floor. >> mr. president? >> senator from vermont is recognized. >> mr. president, i'm going to try to bring this budget debate down-to-earth and talk a little bit about the reality of what's happening and go beyond a lot of numbers that are out there. my good friend from alabama, who sits with me on the budget committee, makes the point that this country has a severe budget crisis.
and he is right. he is right. the question is, how did we get to where we are today and how do we go forward in a way that is fair and responsible to address this crisis? and in that regard, the senator from alabama and i have some very strong disagreements. how did we get to where we were, where we are today when not so many years ago the day that george w. bush became president, we had a significant surplus? we had a surplus when clinton left office. now we have a major deficit crisis. well there are a number of reasons. number one, against my votes, we are fight a war in iraq which, by the time we take care of our last veteran, is going to cost us some $3
trillion. war in iraq. i didn't hear any of my republican friends saying we can't go to war unless we figure out a way to pay for that. number two. my republican friends for years have been pushing huge tax breaks for the very, very wealthiest people in this country. i didn't hear them ask, how that was going to be paid for. number three. on the president bush with strong republican support against my vote, congress passed a $400 billion plus medicare part-d prescription drug program, written by the insurance companies and the drug companies. drove up the deficit. number four. against my vote, congress voted for a massive bailout of wall street. didn't hear too many people talking about, how could we pay for that? $700 billion to bail out wall street. didn't hear them. arguing that it was too much money would drive up the deficit.
now, the republicans yesterday, mr. president, brought forth and voted on hr-1 and almost all of them voted for it and those that didn't actually wanted to go further. now the main point i want to make this morning is, a, we do have to address the deficit crisis, but, b, we have to address it in a way that is fair and is responsible and not solely on the backs of working families, the middle class, the elderly, the sick, and the poor. that is immoral. that is wrong, and that is bad economics. to my mind, it is absolutely absurd that when my republican friends talk about deficit reduction, they forget to talk about the reality that the wealthiest people in this country today have never had it so good.
that the effect of the, real tax rate, for the richest people in this country, is the lowest on record. and that the wealthiest people of this country, the top 2% have received many, many hundreds of billions of dollars in tax breaks. so i ask my republican friend, why do you want to balance the budget on the backs of low-income children, low-income senior citizens, those that are sick, those that are vulnerable, without asking the wealthiest people in this country who have never had it so good, to put one penny, one penny into deficit reduction? i think that is wrong, and the american people think that is wrong. when we talk about deficit reduction, we have got to talk about shared sacrifice. everybody playing a role. not just little kids. not just the elderly.
the not just the sick, but even, dare i say it, people who have a whole lot of money and who have never done so well. mr. president, i have not been impressed at how the media has been covering this issue. because i think they have not made it clear to the american people how devastating the cuts are that the republicans want to impose on working families. let me just very briefly tick some of them off. the republicans want to throw over 200,000 children off of the head start program. every working family in america knows how hard it is today, to come up with a affordable, child care, early childhood education. we have the highest rate of childhood poverty in the industrialized world. the republican solution is slash head start by 20%.
cut 218,000 kids off of head start. and lay off 55, 55,000 head start instructors. mr. president, you well know that the cost of college education today is so high that many young people are giving up their dream of going to college, while many others are graduating deeply in debt. republican solution? slash pell grants by $5.7 billion, and reducing, reduce or eliminate pell grants for 9.4 million low-income college students. middle class families, working class families, you hear that? we're going to balance the budget by either eliminating or lowering pell grants, the ability of young people to go to college, for over 9 million college students. now i know in my office we get calls every week from senior citizens, people with disabilities, widows, who
are having a hard time getting a timely response toward their social security claims. takes too long. the process the paperwork. what the republicans want to do the is slash the social security administration, the people who administer social security, for seniors, for the disabled, for widows and orphans by $1.7 billion. and that means, a half a million americans who are legally entitled to social security benefits will have to wait significantly longer times in order to receive them. mr. president, we have 50 million americans with no health insurance today. 45,000 americans die because they don't get to a doctor on time. last year the health care reform i worked hard a member, many members of the senate to help expand community health centers so more low and moderate income
people could go into a office get healthcare, dental care, prescription drugs, mental health counseling. republicans want to slash, hr-1, the bill they voted for yesterday, they want to deny primary health care to 11 million americans at a time when state after state is cutting back on medicaid. what are you supposed to do if you're 50 years old, you have a pain in your chest, you don't have any health insurance? where do you go? and republicans want to deny health care to another 11 million americans. mr. president, for the poorest people in this country, community services, block grants, provide the infrastructure, the ability to get out emergency food health, emergency help to pay the electric bill. liheap, they are the infrastructure in this country that protects the poorest and most vulnerable people. republicans want to slash $405 million from the
community services block grant. that is wrong and the president's proposed cut to the community service block grant is also wrong. we have in real terms 16% of our population today, our workforce is really unemployed. if you add together the official unemployment, those people have given up looking for work. those people are working part time want to work full time. republicans want to slash $2 billion in federal job training programs. republicans want to slash 400 million in liheap. in liheap. that is the program that in my state and all over this country, enables people to stay warm in the wintertime. we have a lot of senior citizens in the state of vermont getting by on 13, $14,000 a year income. they need help. it gets cold in vermont. gets 20 below zero. you've got to stay warm. people don't have the income. liheap has been a very valuable tool. republicans want to slash
$400 million for liheap. they want to slash the epa, environmental protection agency, by 30%. these are the people who have successfully enforced the clean air act, the clean water act. so that the air we breathe doesn't give us asthma, doesn't provide us with the soot with makes us sick. the clean air act has been enormous success in cleaning up our air. republicans want to slash that by 30%. republicans want to cut the women wand infant nutrition programs. this is the program that provides the wic program, that provides supplemental nutrition programs for women, infant and children. they want to cut that by $650 million. poverty in america is increasing. what we understand, pregnant women and little kids do to
the get good nutrition, the likelihood is that they're going to get, that the births might be low weight or little babies might come down with illnesses if they don't have good nutrition. poverty is increasing. yet the republicans want to cut the wic program by $750 million, 10%. title one education funding, everybody understands we have problems with wedcation right now. large dropout rates. republicans want to cut $5 billion from the department of education. on and on and on it goes. now what do i think? do i think that it is appropriate that we balance the budget on low income pregnant women an infants who need nutrition? do i think you should throw 200,000 kids off the head start program? do i think you cut the social security administration severely? do i think you cut planned parenthood which has done such a good job in preventing unwanted
pregnancies? does that make sense? i don't think so. i don't think that is good for america. but i do believe that we have to move toward a balanced budget. so what is one way to go forward other than savage cuts on programs for the most vulnerable people in this country? and that is i think we have got to begin talking about revenue, not just cutses. mr. president, today i will be introducing legislation which does two things. number one, it creates a millionaires surtax which will be used strictly for deficit reduction. a 5.4% surtax on income over one million dollars. that says that all income, all households that have income over a million dollars will pay a 5.4% surtax on that income, which will go into a emergency deficit reduction fund. just doing that, asking
millionaires to pay a little bit more in taxes, after all of the huge tax breaks they have received will bring in approximately $50 billion a year. now, mr. president, i think that is a good idea, but it is not just me who thinks it is a good idea. recently last week there was an nbc news "wall street journal" poll and they asked the american people, what is the best way to go forward on deficit reduction? 81% of the american people believe it is totally acceptable or mostly acceptable to impose a surtax on millionaires to reduce the deficit. the american people get it. they understand you can't move toward deficit reduction just by cutting programs that working families, the middle class, low income people desperately need in order to survive in the midst of this terrible recession. they understand that serious,
responsible deficit reduction requires shared sacrifice. it is insane, and i use that word adviceably, it is insane to being talking about deficit reduction as my republican friend say on one hand and say, oh, yes, we have to give hundreds and hundreds of billions of dollars to tax breaks to the top 1% or top 2% when those guys are doing phenomenally well. seeing effective tax rate lower than it has been in decades and received huge tax breaks already. why does anyone think it is moral or right to move toward deficit reduction on the backs of the weak and the vulnerable? i understand and i know something about politics, i do understand that the parents of kids who are in head start do not make large campaign contributions. and i know that the senior citizens of this country who need some help with social security do not make
large campaign contributions. i understand that. i understand that college students desperately trying to go through college on a pell grant do not make large campaign contributions. but there is a sense of morality here that we have to deal with and i think it makes no sense, i think it is immoral, i think it is bad economics to balance the budget on the backs of working families while we give continued tax breaks to those people who don't need it. so, mr. president, today we will be introducing a piece of legislation which i hope will have strong support. i think it paves the way for us to go forward in serious deficit reduction in a way that is fair. do we need to make cuts? absolutely, absolutely. but do we also need to ask the wealthiest people in this country to start contributing towards deficit reduction? i think that we do. so once again, the
legislation that i have introduced today creates a millionaires surtax of 5.4%, which would bring in about $50 billion a year to be used exclusively for an emergency deficit reduction fund. and we also end tax breaks for big oil and gas companies which are bring in about $3.5 billion a year. over the past decade the five largest oil companies in the united states have earned nearly a trillion dollars in profits. meanwhile in recent years, some of the very largest oil companies in america have paid absolutely nothing in federal income taxes. in fact some of them have gotten a refund, a rebate from the irs. so that is my plea. my plea is that yes, the need for deficit reduction is real. it is urgent. let's go forward. but let's go forward in a way that is fair and responsible and not simply on the backs of the most vulnerable people in this country.
and with that, mr. president, i would yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. >> the clerk will call the roll. >> mr. akaka. >> mr. president, too take the floor of the senate to urge all of us, democrats and republicans alike, to focus on the single biggest domestic threat to our country, our single greatest challenge in the eyes of every louisianaian and every american i know and that is to stop this runaway spending and debt. mr. president, americans all around the country, certainly louisianaians all around my state, understand this is a grave threat to our economic future. and it is not just some vague threat to generations two and three away from us. this is an immediate threat because the path of spending and debt we're on is completely unsustainable. we must come together in a bipartisan way. we must act, we must solve
this real and pressing problem before it's an immediate crisis. and, mr. president, excuse me, mr. president, i think we should clearly do that well before the need, any need for an increase in the debt limit arises, well before this congress reaches a crisis atmosphere over the need for an increase in the debt limit. for all of these reasons, mr. president, i've joined together with many of my colleagues, and i sent the majority leader, senator reid, a letter today. first let me thank all of my colleagues who joined me on this letter. senator sessions, rubio, demint, paul, lee, toomey, and ensign. the letter is very simple and very straightforward. it says, that this is the
greatest challenge we face. and it says that because of that, we need to face it. we need to debate it. we need to talk about it. we need to act. and we need to start doing that now, well before any significant dead line like when the debt limit may have to be increased. so the letter says, mr. leader, we're going to oppose moving to any other bill that doesn't directly address this crisis when we need to act on this grave threat. let me read relevant portions of the letter because i think it goes right to the point. dear leader reid, yesterday the senate voted on two proposals to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year but this debate gave us only a limited opportunity to discuss what americans know is the crucial issue of our time, cutting government spending, and dramatically
reducing our national debt. additionally no member of the senate was permitted to offer amendments under the structured process which in our opinion prevents a full, open, and robust debate. with our national debt poised to reach its $14.3 trillion limit in the very near future, taxpayers expect congress to work together to reduce wasteful and unnecessary spending, and be more vigilant about how we spend public funds. the american people want congress to deal with tough issues of cutting spending, and almost every member of the senate has agreed that we must address our fiscal situation immediately. while there are certainly many issues that warrant the senate's consideration, we feel that the senate must not debate and consider bills at this time that do not affirmatively cut spending, directly address structural budget reforms, reduce government's role in
the economy so businesses can create jobs or directly address this current financial crisis. the american people resoundingly rejected the way the senate waited until christmas eve as a mechanism to force hurried debate on president obama's massive health care legislation. voting to proceed to another legislative measure effectively runs away from the central issues of spending and debt, and repeats that flawed process. we therefore, are notifying you of our intention to object to the consideration of any legislation that fails to directly address this crisis in a meaningful way. our objections would be withheld if the senate agrees to dedicate significant floor time to debate this issue, well in advance of the federal government reaching our statutorily mandated debt limited. sincerely and again, it is
signed by both myself and senator sessions, rube bow -- rubio, demint, paul, lee, toomey and ensign, to the majority leader. again, mr. president, the statement is clear. this is a crisis. we need to act certainly before we reach the statutory debt limit. so what are we waiting for? let's act now. let's not move to other cats and dogs bills that may be positive legislation but can certainly wait. let's move to the people's business. let's move to the absolute top challenge we face domestically as a country. let's come together and debate, vote on and hopefully begin to solve this problem of unsustainable spending and debt. now, mr. president, to do that, we also need leadership, ideas, suggestions, and i believe, we have